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Framing Problems in Crisis Negotiation: Reframing in the Case of Waco
Unformatted Document Text:  Reframing in the Waco Negotiations 2 Abstract (Student Paper) Outside Waco, Texas, on April 19 th , 1993, a 51-day standoff between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and David Koresh and the Branch Davidians concluded with a fire that killed more than 75 people inside the Davidian compound. Despite the fact that the FBI negotiators talked on the telephone with Koresh or his spokesperson almost every day, the negotiators were unable to bring the standoff to a peaceful end. A frustrating yet persistent aspect of the FBI negotiations was the Davidians’ talk about the Bible and their religious beliefs. In this study, I analyze several exchanges between Koresh and various negotiators. The analysis shows how different reframing practices reveal the interactional troubles the negotiators faced in dealing with the incompatibility of their frame for the situation with the Davidians’ religious one. These practices, I argue, shed new light on the generic advice currently provided for crisis negotiators.

Authors: Agne, Robert.
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Reframing in the Waco Negotiations 2
Abstract (Student Paper)
Outside Waco, Texas, on April 19
th
, 1993, a 51-day standoff between the Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and David Koresh and the Branch Davidians concluded with a fire
that killed more than 75 people inside the Davidian compound. Despite the fact that the FBI
negotiators talked on the telephone with Koresh or his spokesperson almost every day, the
negotiators were unable to bring the standoff to a peaceful end. A frustrating yet persistent
aspect of the FBI negotiations was the Davidians’ talk about the Bible and their religious beliefs.
In this study, I analyze several exchanges between Koresh and various negotiators. The analysis
shows how different reframing practices reveal the interactional troubles the negotiators faced in
dealing with the incompatibility of their frame for the situation with the Davidians’ religious one.
These practices, I argue, shed new light on the generic advice currently provided for crisis
negotiators.


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